When my children were little, I would take a holiday photo of them in festive clothes and cute poses so that friends and relatives could see how they had grown in the previous year. Then I would write our names in the cards and address the envelopes. People enjoyed receiving the photos. I would see them posted on refrigerators through the year.
The most difficult part was the letter that I would send to let people know what we had done in the last year. It had to be worded just right. I didn’t want to sound like I was bragging, but then I didn’t want to share the distressing news. Finding just the right balance took time.
That’s what holiday cards are all about, letting people know what has happened to us during the last year and wishing them well in the coming year. But if you are a job searcher, thanking those who have helped you in any way is the best way for people to remember you.
It’s best to send a generic New Year greeting to thank your friends, contacts, recruiters, former managers, colleagues, customers and vendors to avoid offending anyone not celebrating the holiday season. It will be counterproductive if you show insensitivity to other’s beliefs.
If anyone of the above has helped you in any way, send a card in the mail. If you are just touching base to remind them of your relationship, an email message that is sincere is proper. Consider bringing them up-to-date briefly on your current situation. It’s more about the appreciation. Share a story, article, thought, or memory because you are building a relationship.
In the spirit of building a relationship, suggest getting together for coffee in the coming weeks. Keep it light and friendly and not desperate or depressed. Include your name and contact information in the card. I don’t think a business card sends a warm fuzzy, holiday feeling. You are staying in touch or thanking them for a favor you received; not looking for a job.
It isn’t too late to send out cards. Your goal is sending out New Year greetings, not Christmas. So you have time to get these out. In fact, you can wait until the day after Christmas to choose your cards when they all go on sale. And who doesn’t want to save money.
Give people thanks for what they have done for you this year as a gentle reminder about your status; if they hear of something they are more likely to think of you for the position. You don’t need to make it a long message; just enough to let them know you appreciate their help.